Hartlepool RNLI at poignant ‘Blessing of the Fleet’ ceremony
Hartlepool RNLI crew members took part in a ‘Blessing of the Fleet’ ceremony at Hartlepool Fish Quay that was attended by around 100 people.
The event also remembered the tragic death of fisherman Lee Renney who lost his life at sea off Hartlepool almost a year to the day.
A plaque was unveiled at the Fish Quay earlier in the day by Mr Renney’s family to remember him.
Hartlepool RNLI Coxswain Robbie Maiden said: ‘Today was a very sad occasion but still nice to attend and show our support to the work of the Fishermen’s Mission.
'What makes the event more poignant is that the late Lee Renney’s grandfather Ossie was a very respected volunteer crew member here at the Hartlepool RNLI who served with both myself and my father for many years.
'Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Renney family at what must be a very difficult time for them.'
Superintendent Peter Dade, Fishermen’s Mission Area Officer North Shields, who covers from Amble to Hartlepool said; ‘Today was a show of support to the fishermen and their families and it has been a privilege to be involved with everyone here.
'Earlier today we held a family service for the Renney family who we have supported over the past year.
'We are here to remember the fishermen who do an extremely dangerous job and to offer support to their families.'
Mr Dade also thanked the RNLI and the Hartlepool Sea Cadets for attending the service.
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Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.